Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review of Kingcrow's Eidos

With a solid six studio albums under their belt, it's safe to say that Italy's Kingcrow knows what they're doing at this stage of their career. They're still fairly obscure but have gotten some wider exposure thanks to higher profile tours and festival appearances. Eidos is their latest studio offering and cements their status as the unsung heroes of modern progressive metal.

Having personally been introduced to the band on a past tour with Pain of Salvation, I find it easy to compare them to the Swedish masters. Vocalist Diego Marchesi isn't as flamboyantly charismatic as Daniel Gildenlow but he excels at delivering some tricky yet catchy vocal lines. In addition, Kingcrow makes good usage of atypical rhythms, flamenco acoustic guitar work, and a sense of drama that are right in line with the best of The Perfect Element and Remedy Lane.

Of course, there are other influences at work here. The heavy guitar tone is similar to late era Porcupine Tree, the swells remind one of Anathema's lighter efforts, and traces of Opeth and Dream Theater are used to fill in the gaps.
But while the band is open about its influences, the songwriting takes them to another level. The tracks are structurally and instrumentally complex but there is a conscious effort to keep the compositions memorable. Songs like "The Moth" and "Slow Down" offer the most straightforward hooks but the climactic moments on "The Deeper Divide" and the title track also leave a lasting impression.

I'm unfamiliar with Kingcrow's other works but Eidos is a powerful effort that pulls from the best of modern prog. Its easily identifiable influences may lead some to deem it too derivative and its connection to metal is loose at times, but the songs are well written enough to make this a highlight for the year. Here's hoping they'll achieve the acclaim that's been long overdue.

"The Moth"
"Slow Down"
"Fading Out (Part IV)"
"The Deeper Divide"

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